Today Rich addresses some things to consider before rushing headlong into entrepreneurship.
Now you know the truth. The corporate myth has been unveiled. You are ready to put in your two weeks’ notice and quit your day job. Not so fast! Let’s look at the other side for a second. Most people are not in a financial position to quit the corporate world and immediately make a go at their own business. As thrilling as starting your own venture might sound, life keeps coming at you and so do the bill collectors. As you build your own business, you may need to stick out the corporate job for a while.
During most of my corporate career, I actually had moonlighting businesses going on in the background. Was I able to devote full attention to my variety of ventures? No. Was it always effective? No. Was it a viable strategy? Yes. Some of my most valued assets to this day are my real estate rentals. While still working my day job, I’d come home at night and scour the newspapers for properties to buy. I’d take my wife on dates to see different houses, and we acquired quite a few. Those properties are still among my most stable incoming-generating assets.
There is no question: this dual lifestyle demands a delicate balancing act. How much time can you realistically spend at your job, building your business, taking care of yourself, nurturing your children, spending time with your spouse, walking the dogs, and snagging a wink or two of sleep? If you choose to keep your day job, you must be ready to purposefully carve up your day into segments–each one allocated for a different part of life. Very directly speaking, you will also have to make some very serious sacrifices.
When I was a newlywed getting my MBA, I worked a full-time job and, as always, had a few ventures on the side. To make ends meet, I drove a car that had been totaled four times. I bought my clothes at a thrift store. Our weekly food budget was $13; we lived on potatoes and love. For years of my life, it was a rare event to see a movie, rarer still to sit down and watch a television show. While I’ve grown fond of sleep in more recent years, for a long time I don’t think I could have told you what the word meant. Achieving your dream will demand hard work. It will test your mettle.
If you believe all of life’s demands will line up for you on their own, you will be buried in chaos. In order to be successful in all aspects of your life, including your business ventures, you must engage in thoughtful planning. I go into a lot more detail about how to accomplish a work/life balance in the chapter, “Climb High, Sleep Low.”
At some point, you will be able to bid a fond farewell to the shackles of living in someone else’s dream and in accordance with their ideals. For now, however, you may need to play the juggling game. Recognize your goals, know your limitations, and move forward. This, more than anything else, will test your devotion to entrepreneurship.
Porter’s Points – Your Day Job
· You need an effective time-management strategy–now!
· It doesn’t matter if you use a planner, a PDA, or a desktop calendar to help you manage your time. Just use something!
· You cannot, you must not, let time manage you!
· Get as granular as it takes, down to the quarter hour if needed.
· You will learn about the time requirements of each task as you move through the reality of building your business. Adjust as you go.
That completes Chapter 1: Grit! of Bootstrapped! A No Bull Solution for Small Business Success. We’ll dive into Chapter 2: Juice to the Light Bulb next time!